You might think it would be easy to set up work experience with your local GP, but this usually isn’t possible for confidentiality reasons – because there’s a chance you’ll know patients attending the practice. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your local GP for help, though. They may have ties with another practice that will welcome you for a placement.
Alternatively, you could call and email as many GPs as possible within your area. You could also seek help from the careers advisor at your school and get in touch with the education department at your local NHS Trust.
Be clear, polite and flexible to increase your chances of securing a placement.
Primary healthcare is a unique setting, where aspiring medics will see a multitude of key skills in action. During a GP placement you could observe:
Take a look at this blog to find out what one Med Student learned from their GP placement.
The best way to make the most of your GP placement is to keep a diary of what you see. No matter how interesting a consultation is, you might forget it after a busy week!
At the end of every GP session that you witness, make a quick bullet point list that you can expand on when you get back home. Don’t forget to ask the Doctor why they did certain things if you aren’t sure, and take note of how they communicate with patients.
If you see or hear about an interesting condition, read up on it. Look at some research papers and cite them in your reflections.
During your GP Placement, you can also compare and contrast what you see against any hospital-based work experience you might have had. Make sure you understand how GP and hospital settings differ, as well as how they work together effectively.
If you can’t secure a GP placement, there are many work experience alternatives you can consider, such as:
If you want to experience medical work in a real hospital setting this summer, learn more about Medicine summer schools.
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